Tuesday, July 23, 2013

More Money Thoughts

Thanks for reading about my money woes... and to other SMCs, for modeling that it was okay to do so.

It actually helps to "talk" about it with others. Makes me feel calmer.

I just made some rough calculations, based on my bank account statements, and looking at average bills. After subtracting housing costs, childcare costs, electricity, cleaning lady, a pittance towards my retirement, cell phone, Metrocard... and realized that leaves me with $225 to live on each week.


That doesn't include groceries, diapers, doctor and medication co-pays, toiletries or clothing. Or any of the other random costs that invariably crop up -- malpractice insurance premiums, or gifts (and nanny bonuses, ouch!), and haircuts, and the occasional toy for my darling child.

Of course, I get a break in the summer, both in using a lot less childcare plus also, at least this summer (and hopefully next), making some extra money. And the truth is that I have some savings. It's just that I am burning through them at a frightening rate. I can't afford to continue that. Especially if I want to have a second child.

It's sobering.

Today I talked to my nanny-share partner, Amy, about using me for babysitting. I said that she should still use me for (free) childcare swapping, but in the times that she would ordinarily not use me, but would use a babysitter instead (for longer days, or late nights, or when she wants Eleanor to go to bed in her own bed instead of the Pack n Play over here), she should use me as a sitter. And to pay me at a lower rate than she would pay a normal babysitter, and just to apply it towards my nanny costs. And that I will bring Calliope to their apartment, along with the Pack n Play, and let her sleep at their place for the evening, and then transfer her back home once they return. I did it once before (and they've done it multiple times with Eleanor staying here) and it went surprisingly well. Luckily they live only an eight minute walk away.

I felt really awkward bringing this up, but I figure that's a win-win for both of us. And that I wouldn't feel weird if someone offered the same deal to me.

So I'm hoping that could bring me some much needed relief.


  1. Sometimes, I am reluctant to share my money woes. I think people will use that to judge my SMC status even further. BUT everyone has to stretch their dollars--including married parents. Thanks for being so honest--it's inspiring. Especially to someone who with 1st grade/PreK tuition and daycare expense) is living paycheck to paycheck right now.

  2. Abby--good for you for tackling your budget and figuring out where you stand! I have a budget made but never ever follow it. I'm lucky to have enough disposable income right now to do that but if I had two I would have to watch every penny. I sure wish I could get myself to follow the budget because that would allow me to save right now to have extra for the lean times like you have!! Good for you for saving that money in the first place.

  3. Oh my gosh Abby, I can relate to the money woes so much it isn't even funny. There have been times in the last few months when I have asked myself "How did anyone approve my home study? How could anyone have thought I could afford a child?" Every time I look at my finances, I feel like I can't breathe. It stresses me out constantly, even though I think I have figured a way to make it all work - everything is tight. So very, very tight. And you're right, it is sobering. To the point that I often find myself wishing I had just married rich at some point along the line. Ha! If only it was so easy!

  4. I totally understand the stress! I was there when I was still on the T42 fence. I saved every penny I could to help pay for the future extra expenses. I will say, though it was not a reason for me deciding against T42, it is a nice benefit not to worry as much about money when I know it is just Elsie and me now.

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